Roskam Troubled by GAO Reports of IRS Targeting

Jan 13, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Peter J. Roskam, Chairman of the Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee, released the following statement in response to two new reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that reveal serious flaws in the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) audit selection process.

“We already knew the IRS was targeting political opponents of the Administration when vetting groups applying for tax-exempt status. Now we have reports from GAO raising concerns about the audit selection process throughout IRS operations. The American people deserve better. We must do more to ensure the IRS treats all Americans fairly, holds employees responsible for these abuses accountable, and implements procedures to prevent this abuse from ever happening again.

“This report confirms many of the findings of National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, who issued her own report last week, shedding light on an IRS plagued by mismanagement and abuse. Even IRS Commissioner John Koskinen called the agency’s performance ‘abysmal’ in 2015.

“There is some good news on the IRS front, however – the agency abandoned a proposal last week that could have required churches and other non-profits to collect Social Security numbers from donors.”

In 2015, Chairman Roskam’s Oversight Subcommittee and House Republicans enacted important IRS reforms, including:

  • Requiring the IRS to comply with a Taxpayer Bill of Rights comprising ten essential rights to fairness and good service (a recommendation of the National Taxpayer Advocate since 2007)
  • Preventing the IRS from imposing gift taxes on contributions to non-profit organizations, permanently ending an abusive practice to chill political speech
  • Prohibiting the IRS from rehiring employees fired for misconduct
  • Strengthening tax return identity theft protections and victim assistance
  • Ending IRS spending on lavish conferences